Lamakaan- A House that harbors Creativity!4 years ago Nikita Kiran
Cupping their palms around a steaming cup of Irani tea, savouring acclaimed samosas in an enigmatic house wander poets in utter daze, start-ups in zealot blaze and wanderlust plebeians in awestruck gaze. The house hosts a panoramic culture in its endeavor to provide shelter to a single entity- “Creativity”.
Located in Banjara hills, Hyderabad, ‘Lamakaan, an inclusive cultural space promotes and presents the best of arts, literature, theatre, debate and dialogue with a commitment to being open and accessible.’ Its appeasing flora, exotic interiors, and quality events and activities are often sighed upon and frequently spoken off in awe.
Whilst your stint at the Hyderabadi “hot spot”, you will come across a gamut of diversified events and activities. From theatrical plays to start-up meets, from workshops to exhibitions the trailblazer has served platform to close to 800 events. Besides, anyone can grab a spot and indulge in their bubble of silence too without as much as a passersby glance.
Co- founded in March 2010 by Ashhar Farhan, Humera Ahmed, Biju Mathew and Elahe Hiptoola, Lamakaan has always worked on a beat rather different from the rest in its domain. They refrain from accepting any ‘corporate sponsorships or government grants’ such that the obligation is not onerous to them. It is absolutely free for events which do not charge the audience and costs only around 500 to 600 Rs. for the ones which do. The house runs on voluntary donations and the money that comes from the earnings of its popular cafe. And yes, understanding the basic necessity of the digital age, they also provide free Wi fi with a unique three word password- “Lamakaan is Open”. The ingenious way of this simple yet strong delivery of its vision involuntarily induces a smile.
In the imminent gradual washout of the Irani cafes and restaurants across the nation, has there been a sense of despair, a sense of loss for a form of democratic and libertarian public sociability that the world of the coffee house and small restaurants have magnetically attracted since their inception. The gradual disappearance of such culture is what inspired Mr. Farhan to reminisce his memories via Lamakaan. That and the unique decor of an idol space as vast as that needed to be put to better use for a bigger purpose. This was in fact his way of paying homage to his renowned uncle, a photographer, a documentary filmmaker and an altruist with the hope of keeping the indomitable spirit of creativity alive.
With the booking slots selling like hot cakes (sometimes 3 months in advance), it is often said to be the busiest place in Hyderabad. Looks like it won’t be long when the new adage: “roti, kapda aur lamakaan, the must haves for every Hyderabadi” becomes hackneyed.